Link to 12/12 Photos
12-12-2004 Journal
Link to 12/11 Journal
Link to 12/13 Journal
We are really getting great service here at the Chagala, the staff is incredibly helpful and caring.  Even with the baby
meals being prepared, all the laundry getting done and the room being cleaned it seems all of our time is spent
looking after the two of you…but we would not have it any other way.  Every day we get closer to you and are getting
to really know everything about you.  We are also gaining a deeper understanding of how orphanage life has affected
you and how we will be able to help you adjust to your new lives…in short, as each day passes, we feel more and
more like your parents, and we love you soooooooo much.

All that just being said we hired a couple of nannies this afternoon and took off to go shopping in and dining in
Almaty.  Our driver Dmitry brought along his neighbor Olga who spoke English.  We shopped at a quaint central retail
district that was anchored by a large department store named ZOOM.  On the top floor there were many consigned
shops with all kinds of souvenirs.  We found a bunch of cool stuff that we did not think was too touristy.  One thing we
bought was two very special jewelry sets that we will give you when you are older…for now your mom is going to have
to wear them (poor her).  The jewelry is made by a local artist in silver with enameled design and some kind of an acid
treatment that makes part of the metal glitter.  The pieces are very Kazakh and very soulful and we think you will really
appreciate them when you are older.

Later we had dinner at a restaurant that specialized in Kazakh and Uzbekh cuisine.  It was a wonderful restaurant and
our guides ordered up the perfect meal of skewered lamb, a liver and potato dish and a meat and rice dish.  For an
appetizer we drank a small bottle of vodka accompanied with the perfunctory herring and potatoes side dish…it made
for an uproarious time.